Friday, September 01, 2006

MONTHLY PUNCH-UP #9 (September, 2006)
Bride of the Panther Part 5: "Here Come A Storm"
Where: Black Panther #18 When: September, 2006
Why: Reginald Hudlin How: Scot Eaton & Kaare Andrews

Quick Fix...
I know what you're thinking! What the hell's going on?
Well, in an effort to make these punch-ups just a little more interesting, I thought it would be a nice opportunity to feature those fights that just aren't quite long enough to be a weely post during the month.

These might be anywhere as short as 'one punch! [Bwahaha!]' or a few pages. It's just a way to expand the stats, and get some issues in that might not otherwise be featured; like Black Panther #18.

When Reginald Hudlin took on a new Black Panther series I was moderately interested. I didn't read the Priest series, but I'm a general fan of the Black Panther. Love him via the Fantastic Four, and other stories.
There were some pretty scathing reviews, and I have to say, what I knew of the new series really only seemed to emphasise them. One thing that bothered me in particular was Hudlin's interest in gathering all the afro-characters in the one place... Even if that really isn't what I envision as natural for the character; ie. Blade.

Still, I picked this issue up, and I have to say, it's one of the best Civil War comics I've read! It really is superb, and I probably couldn't recommend it enough, even if you didn't read the first four parts (like me).
This was just a whim purchase from a local newsagency... Which makes it's existence all the more amazing, really. Black Panther in a local store?! Whaaa?

Anyway, keeping to the blog's motiff -- the fight!
As with most comic book weddings, anyone and everyone connected by a string of degrees is invited -- even Wakandan villain - Man-Ape, who had actually come to the wedding to seek vengeance for not being disrespected by not being invited, but upon arrival, was told he was on the list.

So, at the bar, Iron Spidey has a quick drink, and bumps into the Man-Ape. Man-Ape recounts the story of how he arrived at the wedding, one thing leads to another and, well, look left. As you can see, Spidey's advice doesn't have the intended ffect on a guy who clearly already has insecurity issues...

Spidey cowls up; Man-Ape waves a chair above his head; and the next panel...

... is Man-Ape crash landing.

Which, really, is the perfect defining first example of a quick fix. Spidey wins, flawless fictory!

This issue, overall, isn't the best looking issue, and honestly, some of these examples don't evoke Klaus Janson's best work, but still, it's a great read.
I'm actually a big fan of the idea of moving Storm out of the X-universe, and into a relationship with Black Panther. I tend to think this has the potential to better connected the Panther with the on-going relevence of the Marvel Universe, and also give Storm something a little more worthwhile to do.

I don't think it was just Halle Berry who felt Storm could use more to do.
I don't think I've ever thought of Storm as necessary to any moment, outside of maybe fulfilling the minority and female slot required by the X-Men cartoon.

The Fix: 5 The Issue: 6.5

The Monthly Top 5...
#1 Batman (-) (9) (DC Comics)
What is there left to say about Batman? He is well regarded as one of the ultimate fighting characters in comic books, and it should come as no surprise that he's perched so firmly on top.
Omit him from updates for a few months, and you'll be forgiven for still thinking he's being featured every week.

It's not over until it's over, but right here and now, it's looking like Batman is all but assured to be the number superhero of 2006. Marvel have taken over entries lately, but Batman is everpresent.

- Batman versus Captain America (May 15, 2006)
- Batman versus Bullseye (May 22, 2006)
- Batman, Nightwing & Robin versus Two-Face (July 21, 2006)

#2 Spider-man (+28) (new) (Marvel Comics)
Okay, this one surprised even me.
It was only this week that I decided to include the Quick Fix having had BP #18 sitting on my desk the past fortnight. Likewise, it was only today that I decided Spidey, IM and Thor-Clone would get the win for Civil War #3 - so... Wow!

Suddenly Spidey is ranked number two, and apart from Batman, is the only undefeated character in the top five. Could this be the first legitimate contender for Batman, right out of the clear blue sky? Who better than Spidey to rival DC's top character?
Very interesting!...

- Spider-man versus Tri-Sentinel (April 14, 2006)
- Spider-man & Iron Man vs Blacklash (August 11, 2006)
- The Avengers (inc. Spider-man) versus The Secret Avengers (August 25, 2006)
- Spider-man versus Man-Ape (September 1, 2006)

#3 Daredevil (-1) (8) (Marvel Comics)
The Daredevil featured in Civil War was Danny Rand, but DD is still a stalwart of the top five, and that's the way we like it.
Honestly, the Quick Fix addition is almost tailor made to include some of the fantastic work Ed Brubaker did when he took over the DD book. Work that involved some great fights, but fights that just weren't quite enough to stretch out to a full post, so... DD is well and truly in the hunt here.

I hear he's fighting Tombstone in a recent issue, which just makes this fanboy all giddy, because if there's a street level hood I love, it's Tombstone!
As I give into my whims more, you'll probably see DD holding onto his spot here, and try (but failing) to take Bats. He's a sentimental favourite here on Secret Earths.

- Daredevil versus Turk (March 10, 2006)
- Daredevil versus Hulk (June 19, 2006)
- Daredevil versus Wolverine (July 07, 2006)

#4 Iron Man (+7) (new) (Marvel Comics)
There was a really beautiful situation that arose last month.
I pre-selected the Civil War entries a while before getting to them, so it was purely by divine justice that Iron Man and Cap wound up at #10 and #11 respectively last month.

As the lynchpins of August's entries, and interesting situation arose.
It came down to Civil War #3 with the winner going top five, either way. So, in the end, the unpopular guy hits the top five for the first time.

It's died down by now, but the announcement of Robert Downey Jr. for the feature film is still an exciting prospect, and really... Iron Man's stock ain't going down any time soon!

- Iron Man versus Hulk (June 26, 2006)
- Iron Man versus Captain America (August 18, 2006)
- The Avengers (inc. Iron Man) versus The Secret Avengers (August 25, 2006)

#5 Hulk (-2) (3) (Marvel Comics)
And with the exception of Batman, DC are completely squeezed out of the top by all the Marvel mayhem. Honestly, I foresee something of a Marvel slant for the near future, but that could realistically change.

This is probably the final stop for Hulk as he exits the top five after a valiant effort. As I've said previously, Planet Hulk just hasn't captured my imagination, despite sounding rather suitable for a website such as this.

I'm keen to learn more about World War Hulk, but until then, mean and green can be seen in June's Monday posts.

- Hulk versus The Thunderbolts (June 12, 2006)
- Hulk versus Daredevil (June 19, 2006)
- Hulk versus Iron Man (June 26, 2006)

Super Stock...
1. Batman (-) (DC)
2. Spider-man (+28) (M)
4. Iron Man (+7) (M)
6. Superman (-2) (DC)
7. Wolverine (-2) (DC)
8. Captain America (+2) (M)
12. Steel (-3) (DC)
19. Venom Symbiote (+37) (M)
21. Mr. Fantastic (+1) (M)
46. She-Hulk (-) (M)
53. Deathstroke (-4) (DC)
99. Thing (+29) (M)
100. Atlas (+24) (M)
101. Mach-V (+20) (M)
158. Sub-Mariner (-28) (M)
161. Baron Zemo (-42) (M)

The Hammer...
As I may have mentioned, this is being written quite in November. I'm a couple of months behind still, but I have actually made an entry for November (that will be seen once I chronologically arrive at it).

The next couple of months are mapped out, but to better facilitate updates, I'm going to abandon schedule and just start plucking issues on a whim, and doing entries whenever I feel like it.

With any luck we'll be back up to date by December, and if I'm enthused enough, I'd very much like to attempt to fill December with an entry for every day!
Whether or not this is a realistic goal - I DO NOT KNOW! But it'll be fun finding out.

This month [September] we've got a fairly random pre-selection, and October will be the last pre-selected month featuring a theme of Iron Man, Batman and killer robots. Which, I'm sure, is bound to be some fun.
I will probably continue to contribute entries for November, should the urge present itself. Which means they will join the first November entry, which features a gaming franchise comic.

That's about all for now.
Thanks for checking out the log, and hopefully you're having more fun as things shift and settle in different places. Cheers!

NEXT: The Frightful Four return!
August Hit Count: 1721* (+100)

* Hit count was recorded August 31. Hits for August posts may be reflected in October count.

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